Call for Comments: SEC Climate Disclosure
On March 21, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a rule that would compel climate-related disclosure for publicly traded companies: The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. The public has a legal right to provide input on proposed government actions and public comments play a meaningful role in the government rulemaking.
To encourage more public input, the public comment period for this proposed rule has been extended and is now open until June 17, 2022.
Broadly, the proposed rule is in line with the UNGC's Ten Principles supporting transparency of how companies meet their responsibility to the environment, and those impacted by environmental degradation and climate change.
UN Global Compact Network USA encourages all participants to submit a comment to the SEC. While comments may be for or against, Network USA has developed a supporting template letter in partnership with UN PRI that commenters are welcome to use. By law, all comments must be considered by the Commission, and sharing UN Global Compact's principles with the Commission can help support and improve this proposal.
A few details for those participants who are not familiar with the SEC comment process:
- The SEC has to consider all unique comments submitted to the comment file. Sign on letters with multiple signatures carry less weight in the consideration and review process.
- All comments submitted to the SEC are made public and can be cited by the SEC in the final rule as a basis for certain revisions.
- The proposed rule is long (500 pages) and includes some 200+ questions from the SEC. Do not feel obligated to answer all 200 questions, or any specific questions asked in the proposal. You are free to comment on as much or as little of the rule as you would like. You are also free to ignore the proposed questions entirely.
- Comments can come from anyone designated by a company to submit, whether that's a CEO, Vice President, General Counsel, or anyone authorized.
- The most useful comments for the SEC include detailed, data and evidence based recommendations on why a specific section of the rule would be most useful or impactful for the commenter.
The deadline to submit comments is June 17, 2022 COB. Comments can be accepted after the deadline, but risk being considered later in the review process and having less bearing. The easiest way to submit a comment is via email with a PDF attached to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line of your message must include the File Number for the rule: “S7-10-22". Please cc Adam Roy Gordon and Claudia Herbert Colfer when submitting your comments.